A mid-life love story set to a R+B sway, insistent organ, lots of tambourine. The singer meets a damaged woman and tries to convince her to muster the strength to give life and love another try. There’s more to your story, he tells her, than the sound of falling rain: more than just loss, bad decisions, regrets, though those are in there too. Plus, there’s, you know, the future.

A funny thing happens: in trying to convince the woman, the singer convinces himself. In the second verse he’s falling in love, hoping “there’s still something for me left in your heart.” There’s a sense of self-discovery, of amazement at the better self this woman has unexpectedly managed to coax out of him. He falls in love at least partially because he’d like to continue to be someone who says things like:

Cause if what’s gone wrong could never be right
This would be one hell of a world to live in
And I’m all for forgiving, now that’s a start

The vocal is familiar-sounding (I have about 20 people in my record collection who sound like this, David Johansen foremost) and unhurried: you wonder if the singer should be talking faster, if he really intends to persuade this woman, but maybe it’s young people who talk fast. Later you take your time, getting a little right more important than getting it all out.

The song ends on an image of separateness, the singer alone in bed when he expected to find the woman there with him. He says he’s certain she’ll be back later, and maybe she will be. Maybe she won’t repeat past mistakes and maybe he’ll continue to be able to forgive her when she does. We meet unblessed, as an an Arthur Miller character says. It’s never (as Shakespeake said, loosely) a completely smooth ride.

Great song, pretty good album (“Shattered”). Though I do wish Greg Cartwright, Reigning Sound’s singer and main songwriter, had come up with a better couplet for the chorus than “Roll down you mind/Before it drives you insane.”

afterthefall

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